Global Fintech Innovation Network: Beyond the Sandbox

Dhanum Nursigadoo
5min read

Fintech sandboxes have been a huge success both home and away with the FCA having just opened applications for the fifth cohort in the UK and exporting the concept globally. Now the FCA is looking to go beyond the sandbox to create the Global Fintech Innovation Network (GFIN).

GFIN ambition

GFIN is a bit of a mouthful but it’s a name to go along with some lofty ambitions. Personally, I think Global Fintech Alliance sounds better, and it taps into all that superhero goodness that just won’t quit. The network’s aimed at fostering innovation and collaboration amongst fintechs, as a FCA board member and Executive Director of Strategy and Competition put it GFIN will actively engage in:
Understanding and harnessing the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm - Christopher Woolard
Which doesn’t sound like much of anything. And that’s because it’s jargon to protect the FCA. But there’s still something really interesting happening here. Financial regulators across the globe are going to be working together. GFIN, formed of 11 countries, will work alongside companies to create a pathway for fintechs to navigate so they can export their products internationally with less friction (T&C’s apply).

What’s the aim?

So, what does it mean for the fintechs eager to tap into consumer markets all across the world? GFIN is aiming to accomplish three major goals. First up, GFIN needs to create the regulator network sharing and collaborating on innovation, which is sure to be a difficult task but should be made easier by the fintech bridges rolled out earlier this year (if you need a refresher click here to hear about it).
It’s the conclusion to all those fintech bridges they’ve been building - Sarah Kocianski
For the year so far, and probably since long before that, the FCA has been working constantly to establish relationships with non-EU fintech hubs: South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong to name but a few. Then GFIN needs to create a forum for discussion on new/emerging tech like AI, ML, and DLT and new business models.
It’ll be interesting to see how GFIN works in a technology space - Emily Nicolle
New tech is always a difficult one for any regulatory environment, but perhaps by working together to adapt to the challenges thrown up by new tech GFIN will, over time, create a framework that allows faster market penetration. And finally, GFIN needs to create the actual environment for companies to trial and rollout their products internationally.
All regulators move slowly and 11 regulators are certain to move very slowly - Sarah Kocianski
GFIN is both unable and unwilling to create a “harmonisation of regulatory standards across different jurisdictions”. But what it is trying to achieve, is create a space where multi-jurisdictional testing is possible, although that will take a great deal of time to come about due to the sheer volume of regulatory issues involved as well as any other legal and practical issues.

Positive forecast?

It remains to be seen how effective GFIN (it really should be the GFA, but whatever) will be. But with 11 different regulators working together to improve global fintech expansion, it seems to be nothing but good news for fintechs. On this week’s episode of Fintech Insider News our hosts, Sarah Kocianski, Simon Taylor, and David M. Brear are sat down with three great guests: Lesley-Ann Vaughan, Director at MiLA Consulting, Andrew Nelson, Vice-President, Banking & Financial Markets at CGI, and Emily Nicolle, Technology Reporter at City AM to talk about the all the latest news in fintech. You can catch the full Fintech Insider discussion on the new today on the podcast here (go subscribe now, why haven’t you already?).